October 30, 2014 Martine

At the end of September in California, I picked up the phone and started dialing our producers abroad to see what information I could gather on the progress of their 2014 harvests. Here is my report. With all the disturbing news of heavy rain and cool weather in Bordeaux, I was quite concerned about Chateau les Justices and Respide-Medeville. But according to Julie Gonet-Medeville, they harvested superb quality white grapes between September 10 and 17 this year. Picking of the reds started October 3 at Chateau des Eyrins and Respide-Medeville. It has been a long time since their harvest was in…

October 15, 2011 Martine

Following a very early spring with unusually warm temperatures and dry weather, the blooming got a head start.  In 2011, it occurred mid-May. If you add 90 to 100 days, it will give you roughly the date of harvest.  The good weather continued through June and everyone was aware that it might be like the 2003 vintage that started from Mid-August on.  Winemakers then decided to take their family vacation in July. The months of July and August changed everything. The weather was overcast, cool, rainy, and slowed down the maturity of the grapes and furthermore, brought mildew. When I…

September 23, 2002 Martine

It is always premature to proclaim the quality or mediocrity of a vintage before it is crushed and resting in a cask.  However, the 2002 vintage shows, in every way, the promise of a sensational vintage and here is why: On September 10, I witnessed horrendous storms in the Rhône Valley (I will give you a briefing later on that region) and some very unusual and spotted thunderstorms in Burgundy, but nothing in comparison. Burgundy had a Spring without frost and an early blooming season that slowed down with cooler weather, allowing some millerandage (great). Véraison started mid July with…